How To Build an Eco-Friendly House For Your Family

One of the best things about building a new house is having the chance to design it exactly the way you want.

And, in our environmentally-conscious world, that often means incorporating eco-friendly elements into your family’s home to help combat climate change.

solar panels on roof

From designing your home so it uses less energy to incorporating smart technology to save water and electricity, building an eco-friendly house can be great for the environment and your wallet!

Here are five ways to create an eco-friendly home for your family:

Choose Eco-Friendly Materials

The first step in designing an eco-friendly home that will reduce your carbon footprint and minimize environmental impact is perhaps also the most obvious: selecting sustainable materials.

Sustainability in building has exploded in recent years, and you’ll find you have plenty of choice when it comes to deciding on materials for your eco-friendly home.

Consider options like recycled steel, reclaimed wood, upcycled plastics, and bamboo. Natural materials like sheep’s wool for walls and straw bales for attics are popular sustainable insulation options in some climates.

Cork is also exploding in popularity for building, due to its versatility and low environmental impact. It can be used as insulation, flooring, wall coverings, and more.

Try to create a balance between the money you have to spend and the environmental benefits of the materials you choose.

Price out a few different options, and choose the ones that give you the best bang for your buck, while also contributing to your home’s sustainable design.

Install Energy-Efficient Windows and Doors

If there’s one aspect of your home design that you don’t want to skimp on, it’s the windows and doors.

Energy-efficient windows and doors offer numerous benefits to your eco-conscious home, so look for features like high R-values, foam insulation cores, and durable weather stripping.

Not only do the highest quality vinyl windows and insulated doors increase aesthetic appeal, they also play a crucial role in minimizing your environmental footprint and slashing bills by reducing energy consumption and preventing heat loss.

You’ll also likely enjoy better indoor air quality, as outdoor air pollutants won’t be able to seep into your home.

Be sure to invest in good window shades to help improve your home’s passive cooling, blocking heat out during those blazing summer days without overworking air conditioners, and minimizing your energy usage.

Finally, make sure you think about your window placement as well. Facing bedroom windows to the north or south help to keep the room cool and comfortable for sleeping.

On the other hand, facing your kitchen and living room windows to the east and west can help maximize natural light in your living space, keep the rooms warmer in the winter, and reduce the need for artificial lighting.

Keep Utilities Eco-Friendly

Utility costs are frequently one of the biggest expenses that homeowners have to deal with.

So, when you build an eco-friendly house that’s designed to minimize utility use, you’ll save money as well as reducing your use of natural resources.

Start by choosing Energy Star-certified appliances. Designed to minimize energy use while still providing the same benefits as traditional appliance designs, they offer an instant reduction in your energy bills.

Then, consider the lighting in your home. Modern LED lights are available in both warm and cool tones, and boast impressive energy efficiency when compared to incandescent bulbs.

As an added bonus, standard LED bulbs often also last for over ten years of regular use!

If you have the money to spend, then consider installing a solar system to power your eco-friendly home. The initial investment in solar energy is large, but well worth it for the eventual savings solar panels provide.

And, don’t forget to think about ways to minimize your water consumption

Did you know the average household inadvertently wastes approximately 9,400 gallons of water each year? That’s enough to fill a small swimming pool!

Choosing fixtures like high-efficiency or dual flush toilets, performance showerheads, and water-saving faucets can help minimize water use and ensure clean water isn’t going to waste.

Invest in Smart Home Technology

For those that have decided to build an eco-friendly home, embracing smart home technology has emerged as a game changer in a sustainable house.

Harnessing the power of innovation, smart devices optimize daily energy consumption, boost home efficiency, and provide unparalleled convenience.

A smart thermostat is the best place to start. Use it to set a schedule that automatically lowers the heat at night, or when nobody is at home.

Smart lighting provides an easy way to ensure that lights are only on when they’re needed. Look for a system that connects to your smartphone, so that you can turn off any forgotten lights even after you’ve left the house.

And, perhaps most importantly when it comes to energy reduction, installing a smart meter energy monitor can be an invaluable addition to your environmentally friendly home.

These monitors connect to the electrical panel and monitor power usage throughout the home, letting you understand your power consumption and find ways to reduce it in real-time.

Choose Sustainable and Second-Hand Furniture

With your home thoughtfully designed and built, it may seem like there’s nothing more to do to ensure you’ve created a more sustainable home.

But, thinking about your furnishings is as much a part of eco-friendly home design as your house’s building materials, fixtures, and appliances.

Opting for sustainable or second-hand furniture ensures that your environmental impact stays minimal once you’ve settled into your new abode.

There’s no doubt that the excitement of buying new furniture is hard to resist. The smell of fresh wood, the untouched fabric—it’s enticing. But let’s pause for a moment.

Every year, a mountain of perfectly good furniture ends up in landfills, contributing to an ever-growing waste problem.

Choosing second-hand furniture gives these items a second lease on life. Not only does this reduce waste, but it also cuts down on the demand for new resources to create more furniture.

So, where do we find these eco-conscious treasures? Local thrift stores and online marketplaces are loaded with unique, pre-loved pieces waiting to add character to your home.

On the other hand, if you’re set on buying new (or simply can’t find the piece you need second-hand), seek out brands committed to sustainable manufacturing practices.

Look for furniture that features reclaimed or sustainably-harvested wood, non-toxic finishes, and natural fabrics like organic cotton and cruelty-free wool.

Adorning your home with sustainable or second-hand furniture is more than a design choice—it’s a statement of your commitment to protecting the planet.


Deciding to build an eco-friendly house can be incredibly rewarding, but it will require some extra research and planning to help ensure you create the most sustainable design possible.

Put thought into the different elements involved, from energy-efficient appliances to renewable energy sources to reducing water consumption.

When you’ve created a solid plan and do finally build that eco-friendly house for your family, you’ll enjoy lower utility bills, a more comfortable atmosphere, and, best of all, a home that helps reduce your environmental impact in the years to come.

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